henna19I am an adopted British/Swiss/Indian woman writing about identity, adoption and living with cancer. I have just published my memoir Chasing Ghosts: not just an Adoption Memoir, the story of growing up as a mixed race child in 1950s Birmingham, getting involved as a black activist in the ‘80s, and my recent search for my birth parents’ families. My book was researched and written while living with a diagnosis of incurable cancer.   My quest is interwoven with the attempts by my three adopted siblings to find their own birth parents. In 2015 my short story, The Search, an amusing account of my meetings with adoption counsellors, was published in Tangled Roots: true life stories about mixed race Britain. In 2015 I completed the Guardian’s year-long memoir writing course, tutored by Damian Barr.

I graduated with an MA in geography from Edinburgh University in 1974, followed by a master’s degree from the University of Western Ontario. I worked as a town planner for the London Borough of Southwark for several years, switching to a career in consultancy designing and implementing socio-economic policy for local and central government. One of my favourite pieces of work was to facilitate local people to spend European Union regional grant money to address poverty in Tottenham, North London.

I live in north London with my cat.